The four best-written, most on-target paragraphs I’ve read anywhere about the performances by Revolutionary Road‘s Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, written by New York‘s David Edelstein:
“Unlike many child actors who’ve made the successful transition to grown-up roles, DiCaprio hasn’t evolved in predictable ways — there are no clear lines of demarcation. His boys were unusually centered, his adults unusually boyish. His wide face still carries some insulating baby-fat, like Elvis Presley‘s and Bill Clinton‘s (before the latest weight loss), and Mendes uses that insulation against him, sometimes cruelly: What was self-assured and spring-heeled in Titanic now looks dodgy.
“Mendes and Winslet push DiCaprio to places he has never been. At the height of her fury, April flays Frank, and both the character and the actor have nowhere to hide. DiCaprio loses his sure balance, his control, and has never been more vulnerable or electrifying: Winslet has forced him into the moment.
“Well, she could force anyone into the moment. In Revolutionary Road, her emotions are too big for her face; she’s such an elastic actress, so in tune with her characters’ feelings, that her features seem to expand or contract in every scene. Her movements are wary, overly tight, like a woman no longer at home in her body; and when she releases that tension and moves in on DiCaprio, it’s as if she’s finally able to breathe.
“There is a cost to that freedom: April demolishes the marriage to survive, yet she might not be equipped to survive its demolition. There isn’t a banal moment in Winslet’s performance — not a gesture, not a word. Is Winslet now the best English-speaking film actress of her generation? I think so.”